Scaffolding Firm Fined After Worker Killed in Fall
The need for the proper inspection and maintenance of work at height equipment, and in this case mobile access towers, has been tragically highlighted with the death of James Baillie, 53, who fell six metres from a faulty tower in September 2011. For PASMA this is a particularly poignant and distressing incident as the Association goes to great lengths to ensure that its Hire & Assembly members follow a stringent audit process to prevent accidents of this type. Sadly, the company involved was not a member of PASMA.
As reported in a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) press release dated 31 July 2015, Extra Access Limited has now been fined £40,000 for breaching the relevant health and safety regulations.
As stated in court, the tower was in “A bad state of repair due to brown rot decay,” when Mr Baillie stepped on to it, causing it to give way. According to HSE Inspector, Graeme McMinn, the tower should have been properly inspected and maintained or otherwise taken out of service. Significantly, adhering to a strict inspection and maintenance regime is obligatory for PASMA Hire & Assembly members.
The fatality, says the Association, underlines the absolute necessity for access towers, or any item of work at height equipment, to be the subject of a pre-use inspection and the completion of a pre-use inspection record. Tower components should also be inspected at suitable intervals and a record kept of those inspections. You must also be trained and competent to build and dismantle a tower. Selecting, inspecting and maintaining the correct equipment is essential to safe working.
For further information safe usage of Scaffold and Mobile Towers, please read here.